Croatia took on Spain in Copenhagen for their fixture in the Round of 16 of the Euro 2020 tournament.
After a shaky venture in the group stages, the World Cup finalists looked to take on a Spanish side that came off a 5-0 win against Slovakia.
Croatia had to deal with the heavy blow of Ivan Perišić being left out after testing positive for COVID.
Despite both sides making the match difficult for each other on the counter attack, Spain had a couple of solid chances to score against the Balkans.
Álvaro Morata, who was already getting a lot of stick from fans on social media, missed two chances in front of goal that could (and should) have went in.
Spain was punished in the 20th minute by a humiliating own-goal. Young Barca midfielder Pedri fed a curling back pass to the Spanish goalkeeper from 50-yards out. Unai Simón couldn’t control the ball and it went into the back of the net.
18 minutes later, the Spaniards had multiple chances on goal that resulted in a fumble within the Croatia box. Finally, the ball fell to PSG’s Pablo Sarabia, who smashed it into the net to give La Roja the equaliser.
The first half ended 1-1 with both teams looking in-form.
The opening minutes of the second half saw Spain dominating on the ball while Croatia took a more defensive stance to prevent conceding dangerous crosses.
In the 57th minute, Chelsea’s captain and Champions League winner, Cesar Azpilicueta, put his team forward after Ferran Torres fed a ball to him in the box. This was the 31-year-old’s first goal for his country.
Despite his earlier fumble, Unai Simón was having a fairly good game for Spain as he made some crucial saves throughout the match.
Morata had another chance in the 72nd minute and eventually did score. However, his attempt was ruled offside.
Torres extended the lead for Spain a few minutes later. Croatia’s defence turned off after a quick free kick was taken, only for the Manchester City winger to cut in a score past Livaković.
All seemed be done and dusted for the Iberians but Croatia had other plans.
Another fumble happened, this time in Spain’s box and the Croats reduced their deficit due to Orsic’s attempt being given from goal-line technology.
A massive six-minutes of added time was given to Croatia as their fans were roaring in the stands to find an equaliser.
Substitute Mario Pašalić created a chance and headed the ball into the Spanish net to take the game into extra time.
Unai Simón stepped up again to save his country from elimination after blocking Kramaric’s shot from close-range.
Morata finally got his big break after scoring the goal to give Spain the lead in the 100th minute. He controlled a cross from Dani Olmo and blasted a shot from his left foot into the net.
Spain sealed the game three minutes later as Sociedad’s Mikel Oyarzabal tucked a shot into the back of the net to send his team to the quarter final.
Source of Image: UEFA EURO 2020 via Twitter
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